Soddy-Daisy and Sequatchie County pitchers issued 17 walks and struck out seven in 67 at-bats for their two baseball teams Saturday.
"It was lackadaisical and it was painfully slow," Sequatchie coach Aaron Simmons said after his Indians outlasted the host Trojans 8-5 in a six-inning Ooltewah Invitational game that ended on a 2:15 time limit.
Perhaps it was the foreboding skies or temperatures hovering in the mid-40s, the damp field from Friday's rains or the threat of impending Saturday evening showers, but it was a painful game to watch.
The Indians improved their plate performance after stranding 16 runners in a Friday loss to Lawrence County, but their coach was somewhat vexed by the pitching performance from Aaron Grayson despite the junior getting credit for the victory.
"At times he was great, but when you have the lead you have to go right at the hitters -- challenge them -- rather than giving up two-out walks," Simmons said. "One day we're on; the next we're off. And when you have the lead, the last thing you want to do is slow [the game] down."
Soddy-Daisy stubbed its toe repeatedly for the sixth time in seven games.
"That [game] is the story of our season," Trojans coach Jared Hensley offered. "In six of our seven losses we have had an inning where we have given it away."
In this game it was the third inning, when their opponents sent 10 men to the plate and six scored on just two hits -- both singles by Thomas Willoughby, who was caught at second base after trying to stretch the second one following a play at the plate. It ended what could have been an even bigger inning, for between Willoughby's hits, Soddy-Daisy committed three errors and first-time Trojans starting pitcher Reese Blansit issued two of his nine walks.
"I really thought he did a great job considering it was his first time out," Hensley said of his promising freshman. "All in all, he threw strikes. It was just the one inning that killed us."
Sequatchie took the lead in its first at-bat on singles from Harrison Murphy and Dakota Hudson but surrendered it quickly on consecutive singles from Tre Carter and Andy Wright and four consecutive free passes.
It was the first of four occasions when the Trojans left runners in scoring position, twice with the bases loaded.
Sequatchie went scoreless in the second but came up big in the third and added a run in the fourth when Grayson, who had walked, advanced to second on an error and scored on Jake Pickett's infield single.
The tournament championship game at Ooltewah was played late Saturday.
Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...